Meet our Leadership Team

Elizabeth Pierce, President & CEO

Elizabeth Pierce has earnest passion to fuel curiosity, unleash wonder and celebrate knowledge. As the CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center, she sees limitless potential to evoke a spirit of discovery, creativity and critical thinking for people of all ages. At the heart of her leadership is a deep understanding of CMC’s impact on the lives of people in this community and across the globe.

She is an advocate for early childhood education and lifelong learning, beginning her career at Chicago Children’s Museum. She carried that passion to Cincinnati in 1999, serving as a communications consultant to Cincinnati Museum Center in 2001. Her relationship with CMC grew deeper through regular visits to Union Terminal with her young sons. She joined the Duke Energy Children's’ Museum Advisory Board in 2004. Serving as the chair of the advisory board and as a CMC trustee, before joining staff as vice president of marketing & communications in 2007.

She has been a key member of the senior leadership team for the past eight years, driving financial success through robust museum admissions revenue, OMNIMAX® films and blockbuster special exhibitions including:

  • BODIES: The Exhibition (2008), Freedom Sisters (2008), America I AM: The African American Imprint (2010), Dinosaurs Unearthed (2010), Cleopatra (2011), Pompeii (2012), Dead Sea Scrolls (2013); Ultimate Dinosaurs (2013); Diana: A Celebration (2014), and most recently Mummies of the World (2015). 
  • Two community programs that she helped to establish in 2008 are still thriving: The Duke Energy Children’s Museum Difference Makers and the annual Learning Through Play Conference.
  • Elizabeth helped secure the 2009 National Medal of Museum & Library Services award to CMC and the 2012 Accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.
  • In 2012, Elizabeth served as a key leader for the Cincinnati Museum Center in the merger with The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, bringing together the two organizations to help leverage museum expertise.

During her tenure, Elizabeth has dynamically engaged CMC curators and exhibition staff to leverage the vast collections for community impact and fundraising growth including the celebration of Union Terminal’s 75th anniversary year (2008), the series of CMC Treasures exhibitions (2012-2015) and the Daughters of the Queen City initiative (2014). From local history to premiere global exhibits, Elizabeth will guide CMC as future content and programs are kept relevant, fresh and prolific for valued visitors.

Elizabeth has been a leader in the efforts to secure public support for Union Terminal. She served as a key staff leader of the 2014 Cultural Facilities Task Force. She helped drive the Save our Icons community engagement campaign in partnership with Music Hall resident companies and Landor; and she established a vital partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Elizabeth guided the Union Terminal sales tax campaign, resulting in the passage of this vital community support by 62% of Hamilton County voters.

Cincinnati Museum Center is pleased that Elizabeth will continue to passionately lead the organization building on her extensive experience as a leader in Cincinnati and at other notable museums over the past 20 years. Early in her career, Elizabeth gained experience in the photo archives department of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.; public program development at The Corcoran Gallery of Art, special events and fundraising at The National Endowment for the Arts and the Chicago Children’s Museum. She stepped outside the museum industry for a period of time gaining strategic communications skills, community engagement and media relations expertise.

Elizabeth Pierce deeply treasures the unique range of subjects that CMC presents. Her personal and family experiences have given her a healthy fascination with biology and the natural world; an enthusiasm for geography; and an appreciation for layers of context revealed by history. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) and studied at the Miami University John E. Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg. Her experiences overseas as a student of history, architecture and economics ultimately inspired her to pursue a museum career. She holds a Masters of Museum Studies/Administration and American Studies from The George Washington University.

She is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati, Class 32. She has been a leader in several parenting/school groups, a member of Kindervelt #50, a contributor to Impact 100 and is a current member of the Women’s Capital Club. Elizabeth and her husband Brad and their children have been residents of Cincinnati for 15 years and reside in Indian Hill. 

Dave Duszynski, Vice President of Featured Experiences and Customer Services

I came to the Museum of Natural History on Gilbert Avenue in 1985 as the Planetarium Director, just in time for Halley’s Comet. In 1990, along with the opening of Museum Center at Union Terminal, I assumed responsibility of the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater operations, and have been a consulting producer on many OMNIMAX® films during the past 20+ years. Currently, I am also responsible for customer service operations, retail operations, and for developing special exhibitions.

My degrees are in Astrophysics and Communications from Michigan State University. For me, working in a museum provides the ideal opportunity to spread knowledge about the wonders of culture, the wonders of science, and the wonders of the universe—and it keeps me learning, too.


Jill Berkemeier, Vice President for Finance and Administration & Chief Financial Officer

As a Cincinnati native, I grew up in awe of Union Terminal and now am proud to say that I work here, in the Hall of Justice. As a finance professional with over 20 years of experience, I’m happy to bring that experience to Cincinnati Museum Center. For over seven years, I served in the top financial role with Global Novations, LLC. In that capacity, I successfully managed the completion and integration of three acquisitions which led to the exit strategy resulting in the acquisition of Global Novations by Korn/Ferry International. During this time, I implemented new systems and processes to form the backbone of the business while providing improved financial and operational data to improve results and facilitate growth. Throughout each acquisition, I integrated the business model from a finance and accounting perspective, as well as the operating business model which included human resources, legal, technology infrastructure and systems, pricing structure, business processes and related impacts to sales and client teams. Before Global Novations, I held the Director of Financial Analysis position at CBS Personnel where I focused on budgeting/forecasts and analysis, in addition to acquisitions integration and due diligence projects. Prior to CBS Personnel, I served as the Assistant Controller at Service America, Internal Auditor at the Chemed Corporation and Staff Accountant at VonLehman & Co. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Accountancy from Thomas More College. I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants.


Clarence G. "C.G." Newsome, Ph.D., President, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

I was named president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in August 2013. I currently serve as a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees. I am past president of Shaw University, and I previously served as dean of the School of Divinity at Howard University and as a member of the Duke Divinity School faculty. I have also served on several major committees of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and am a member and past president of the Society for the Study of Black Religion, a nationwide think tank of scholars engaged in studying the religious experience of African Americans. Known for my academic work in African American history and culture as well as  religious history, I oversaw the creation of a museum of religious art at Howard, acquiring more than $2.7 million in church artifacts and icons, with support from the Smithsonian Institution. I am a triple alumnus of Duke University, receiving a B.A. in religious studies in 1972, an M.Div. in 1975 and a Ph.D. in American religious history in 1982. While an undergraduate, I lettered in football and was the first African American scholarship athlete to graduate from Duke.